One week and four games into the season, the Flyers are 2-2. An even .500 for the first road trip isn’t too bad, despite the fact that they should have at least gotten a point in Nashville last night. But instead of focusing on their current record, let’s talk about something more fun and exciting. This season, I’m going to do something new. You’ve seen the NHL’s three stars of the week, now get ready for the Fantastic Flyers of the Week. (I’m still working on the title, bear with me here.)
Each Wednesday I’ll be bringing you my top three Flyers of the week, honorable mentions, and other award winners as I see fit. This is entirely subjective, so let me know on twitter (@mustang__sallie with 2 underscores) if you agree or disagree with any of my choices.
1st Fantastic Flyer– Wayne Simmonds
If you didn’t see this one coming, I’m not sure what you were expecting. The Wayne Train has scored four goals in the first four games, including the very first opening night hat trick in Flyers history. He’s a strong presence, he’s dangerous around the net, and he’s exactly the player we were all hoping he’d continue to be. He was also named the NHL’s third star of the week, though I’d like to think he’d be more honored by being named my first Fantastic Flyer ever.
Is there any better way to start a season than a hat-trick?
Wayne Simmonds agrees, because he just scored one! pic.twitter.com/ntAhjN04dF
— Broad Street Hockey (@BroadStHockey) October 5, 2017
Jake needs a bounce-back season like no one else on this team. So far, he’s making a good statement for himself. He still has yet to score his first goal of the season, but his six assists lead the team and is second in the league only to the guy who’s been supplying Alex Ovechkin.
3rd Fantastic Flyer- Shayne Gostisbehere
Like Jake, Ghost also needs a bounce-back season. Also like Jake, he has yet to score his first goal of the season. But his five assists are second on the team, and it won’t be long until he’s got a goal of his own.
— NBCSN (@NBCSN) October 5, 2017
Ivan Provorov- The Flyers’ best defenseman from last season is at it again. He’s leading the team in ice time, averaging almost 24 minutes, and he’s looking more and more like a future Norris Trophy winner each and every game.
Nolan Patrick- Second overall draft choice. Beloved Flyers rookie. And as of last night, official NHL goal scorer. It took until his fourth game for Nolan to score his first goal, but it wasn’t for lack of trying. There were many times throughout the first three games that it looked like he was going to make it happen, but fell just short. He only has two points so far, his own goal and the primary assist on Ivan Provorov’s gem against Anaheim, but it’s clear that once the bounces start going his way, he’s going to be a force to be reckoned with.
Sean Couturier- The transition from playing on the second or third line to playing on the first line is one that a lot of players aren’t capable of making. Yet, Sean Couturier has managed to make it seemingly effortlessly. Huge props to him for not crumbling under the pressure. He’s not leading the team in any statistic or category, but he’s silently making his mark on this season so far, and I like what I’ve seen.
Bounce Back Player of the Week- Travis Sanheim
Travis Sanheim’s first NHL game didn’t go as he probably spent years hoping it would. In a recipe for disaster (or potential individual implosion), his bad misplay led to a Kings goal and he closely followed it up with a double minor for high sticking. That’s not a good start for the kid. However, after he served his time in the penalty box, Travis came out in the following period like a new player. He’s still looking for his first NHL point, but it’ll come soon enough. The important thing is that he hasn’t let his mistakes get to him and he’s continuing to learn and grow.